The Learning Renaissance

The History and Development of Experiential Learning

A major issue with current education in schools is that it is mostly theoretically based and does not impact on the lives of young people, often leaving them disillusioned and disengaged.

The reasons for the general sterility of the curriculum are many.

Structurally, the focus on content in the curriculum does not encourage excursions which are led by students.

Similarly, the structure of departmental-based teaching silos discourages the collaboration and time allocation for large, experientially-led projects. I find it ironic that acknowledgement that this is the case has led to many schools having an ‘enrichment’ week in which this type of learning takes place, which sort of begs the question why enrichment does not take place throughout the whole school year…?

Regulatory bodies in education tend to focus on compliance rather than investigation and, although they do not technically prevent explorative approaches, they do tend to encourage schools to play safe and be risk averse.

Despite this, those countries which tend to occupy the top spots in the OECD international comparative education tables tend to favour an approach which give students more practical experience of shaping and determining their learning and assessment, and Finland is moving even further in this direction.

This infographic created by Realityworks does an excellent job of encapsulating the issues involved:



Source: Experiental Learning in the Classroom | RealityWorks
Via ETML: Experiential Learning Visually Explained for Teachers


About educationalist04

Dazed and confused much of the time but convinced we can, as a species, do much better than this if we set our minds to being much more positive and productive towards our fellow humans.

2 comments on “The History and Development of Experiential Learning

  1. Paul Champion
    May 11, 2015
  2. stcarriesclassroom
    May 17, 2015

    I am not sure how the infograph connects with the article. I believe in experiential learning and try to implement as often as possible. I found that parents have been scared into thinking that unless learning is force fed and painful that it is not important.

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